House Democrats unloaded on President Joe Biden after he sided with Republicans and moderate Democrats by blocking the District of Columbia’s crime bill.
Biden announced on Thursday that he would sign a resolution to block the bill, which had come under fire for certain ‘soft-on-crime’ provisions.
I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings.
If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 2, 2023
Biden made the revelation to Senate Democrats that he would sign onto an effort to block the bill.
“I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings,” he said. “If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.”
One angry House Dem blasted Biden via text messages to The Hill: “The White House f*cked this up royally. So a lot of us who are allies voted no in order to support what the White House wanted. And now we are being hung out to dry,” the lawmaker continued.
“F*cking AMATEUR HOUR. HEADS SHOULD ROLL OVER AT THE WHITE HOUSE OVER THIS,” the Dem added.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), the No. 3 House Democrat, went on record with his rebuke: “It’s disappointing for me and anybody who believes in home rule, honestly.”
“I’m a former mayor of a city of 70,000 and I wouldn’t want the federal government coming in and telling me what city ordinances to pass,” he added. “So I think it’s disappointing in that context. I voted against it, but I understand and respect the president’s position here.”
“We’ll see, the Senate has to pass that, and I know that they’ve said they have the votes but all of those things have to happen,” he went on. “But it’s disappointing for those of us who believe in home rule.”
Democrat D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton complained that the move comes at a time of soaring crime rates.
“Today has been a sad day for D.C. home rule and D.C. residents’ right to self-governance,” Norton said.
“We had hoped that with more Senate support, we would have been able to ensure that neither disapproval resolution pending before the Senate would reach the president’s desk, but with the nationwide increase in crime, most senators do not want to be seen as supporting criminal justice reform.”
The crime bill’s defeat is being touted as one of the few signature wins of the McCarthy-led House thus far.
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